Invitation Only Research Event

Ethiopia’s Political Crisis: Navigating the Road to Reform and Sustainable Stability

22 March 2018 - 12:00pm to 1:15pm
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Chatham House, London


Awol Allo, Lecturer in Law, Keele University
Goitom Gebreluel, PhD Candidate, University of Cambridge
Chair: Dr L. Muthoni Wanyeki, Africa Director, Africa Regional Office, Open Society Foundations



Hailemariam Desalegn’s resignation from office in February 2018 – the first by a serving prime minister in Ethiopia’s modern history – was made with the stated intention of enabling reforms that would lead to sustainable peace, improved security and widening political space. The decision followed years of unrest, and triggered the re-imposition of a state of emergency, less than a year after the last period of emergency powers ended.

After over 25 years in power, the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) finds itself at an important turning point. As the government seeks to retain authority and minimize ethnic violence and protests, the crisis may present opportunities to reshape Ethiopia’s political landscape and promote greater stability. Ethiopia’s next prime minister and party chairman will need political support and broad-based legitimacy in order to address discontent and concerns across the country over political, economic and social inequalities.

At this roundtable, the panel of speakers will discuss the current context and scope for reform in Ethiopia. They will examine the leadership challenge and restructuring within the EPRDF - and multi-ethnic parties - and assess the security situation and effects of the re-imposition of the state of emergency. The speakers will also discuss ethno-nationalism and the relationship between the federal government and the regions, as well as the reforms required to ensure long-term stability.

Attendance at this event is by invitation only. 

The Chatham House Rule

To enable as open a debate as possible, this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.

Event contact

Eugénie McLachlan

Eugénie McLachlan

Programme Administrator, Africa Programme